Former Premier League stars Wes Brown, Shay Given and Alex Bruce are training with Vanarama National League side Macclesfield.
All three live locally and have joined the Silkmen, who finished ninth in the table and were FA Trophy finalists at Wembley, for pre-season to maintain their fitness levels and undertake some coaching.
This summer ex-Manchester United and Sunderland defender Brown was released by Blackburn, former Republic of Ireland, Newcastle, Manchester City and Aston Villa goalkeeper Given’s contract expired with Stoke and Bruce – son of Villa manager Steve – was let go by Hull.
“It says a lot about the football club that they came in to training one day, and then came in the next and the next,” manager John Askey said at the club’s kit launch.
Assistant boss Steve Watson, who played with Given at Newcastle, added: “Wes and Alex are doing their coaching badges so helped to run a session whilst Shay has been taking the goalkeepers.”
It is understood the trio are not on trial – although the club are currently working with a number of other trialists – and the nature of their arrangement is informal.
Macclesfield, who currently have just one goalkeeper registered, host SkyBet Championship side Derby in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.